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L.I. man pleads guilty to Mets game interference

TimesLedger Newspapers

FLUSHING — A man from Massapequa, L.I., pleaded guilty to interfering with a professional sporting event after running onto Citi Field in June after New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana threw a no-hitter, the Queens district attorney said.

District Attorney Richard A. Brown said 33-year-old Rafael Diaz pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor crime of interference with a professional sporting event and was sentenced to a conditional discharge under conditions that he pay a $1,000 fine to the city and $4,000 in civil penalties to the Mets.

Brown also said Diaz must perform 100 hours of community service in Queens and cannot visit Citi Field for one year.

If he fails to complete any of those conditions, Brown said, Diaz can be resentenced to a minimum of 15 days in jail to a maximum of one year.

“The defendants’ antics have resulted in a criminal record, the paying of thousands of dollars in fines and civil penalties, and — perhaps the worst punishment for any true Mets fan — precludes him from ever again visiting Citi Field,” Brown said. “He has now learned the hard way that the Queens district attorney’s office and the New York Mets have zero tolerance for those who interfere with the play of America’s pastime.”

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